Saturday, June 22, 2013

Garlic Scapes

I have included garlic scapes in posts about the vegetable garden before, but in case you didn't see it, I am doing a post just about them.

We moved here 15 years ago.  Larry's mom, who was the one who gardened, had passed away a few years previous to that.  The hardneck garlic was something she had planted, and was growing quite thickly.  Can you see the curly stems that are called scapes?

It took me several seasons to look for information on how to grow this garlic, which I figured out is hardneck garlic.  I didn't realize that you harvest it when the leaves start turning brown, saving some for planting again in October.  Here's a closer view of the scapes.

Since I wasn't sure about what to do with them, I let them grow wild in one area, and pulled the rest out for the compost pile.  Whenever I tried harvesting them, the heads were pretty small.  Now that I am planting nice sized individual sections, and giving them room to grow, the heads and individual sections are a better size, worth cooking with.

It took me another bit of time to learn that you shouldn't keep the scapes on the plants, because they can cause the bulbs to be smaller.   Not only that, the scapes are good to eat.

The scapes are off, and now the plants can concentrate their growth where they need to.

We have been enjoying the scapes in a number of vegetable dishes.

I'm pretty sure I planted these clumps of garlic across the street, where I attempt to garden in the shade.  I guess I didn't harvest them, and then, didn't thin them.  I was able to harvest the scapes on these later than the ones at home, partly because of less sun, and maybe partly because they are in the clumps.  Since I have enough garlic at home, I think I'll leave these just to get more scapes.

After I took these photos, I took a hose across the street and watered for the first time this summer.  Things were pretty dry.  I laid the hose down at times, and got more of the weeds weeded.  I am letting some grow to eat, especially, the Lambsquarters.  I am letting two pokeweeds grow for the birds, because they like the berries.  There are some others, too that are good in different ways for the critters.  I'm just not letting them grow on top of each other.  Also, there is some dill I'm making space for.  Maybe I'll do a post on it.  Oh, and I watered the ground cherries.  I am hoping to get some before the birds eat all of them.  I've never tried them, but I want to.  I just keep laughing at the thought of "weeding" the weeds.  Have a good Sunday!


  1. Garlic scapes are yummy! I made some pesto with mine. Soooo good!

  2. I laughed about weeding the weeds too.

    I love homegrown garlic. It's easy, and so nice to have on hand.

  3. I have never grown garlic before, I haven't really got room for growing vegetables in my garden as it is so small but this year I have some lettuce and radish in some containers and I have already had my first harvest and the second one on the go. But I do eat garlic so I wish I had room for lots! Good luck with your harvest :-)

  4. You reminded me I need to cut out the scapes on my garlic. Thank you. I have never cooked with them before; I need to give it a try.

    Helene, if you have roses, plant some bulbs around the base; it is supposed to be very good for them.

  5. I figured out the garlic growing part but never seem to have time to experiment with the scapes when they need cut off. You're look great!

  6. Yum! We get Garlic scapes in our CSA share, and they're very tasty and add a fresh Garlic flavor to so many tasty dishes. How fun to see it growing in your own garden and your neighbors!

  7. I love garlic scapes sauteed in a bit of olive oil and butter, and then just scooped over a baked potato, or a mound of mashed potatoes.

  8. YUM! I'm forwarding this to Judy, I hope she gets the hint.

  9. The secret to scape cookery is to pick them early — the earlier the better.

  10. You're vegetable plate looks fantastic......can I invite myself to dinner? LOL Quite a hike.


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